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Black electrical worker files lawsuit after reporting noose on job site

Stevie Lamont Stuckes says he was subjected to a workplace culture rife with “racially charged ‘jokes’” and racial slurs.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Black electrical worker who says he was fired after he reported finding a noose on a job site has filed a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against the company.

Stevie Lamont Stuckes filed the lawsuit in the Western District of North Carolina on Tuesday, The Charlotte Observer reported. In the lawsuit against Pike Electric, attorney Abbey Krysak says that during the nearly three years Stuckes was employed, he was subjected to a workplace culture rife with “racially charged ‘jokes’” and racial slurs.

Krysak didn’t respond to a request from the newspaper for additional comment on Thursday.

James Banner, Pike Electric senior vice president of administration, told the newspaper in a statement that the company “takes these allegations very seriously and took immediate action at the time to address the incident.”

“We believe these allegations completely distort the facts and the company’s response,” Banner said. “Pike looks forward to responding in court with the facts as they actually happened.”

While on job sites, the lawsuit said Stuckes’ coworkers often told him, “You don’t know where you at, boy,” and used other derogatory language about Black people. The alleged harassment escalated in October 2019, when the lawsuit states Stuckes was assigned a job in Clearwater, Florida.

Stuckes was the only Black person on the five-person crew. Within a month of their arrival, a white crew member is accused of pulling a knife on Stuckes, who said he reported the incident but nothing was done. He found the noose a few days later, on Nov. 10. 2019. Though Stuckes again reported the incident, the lawsuit states the company “did nothing to alleviate the terror Stevie felt.”

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